In news that appears to defy all odds, Apple reported $US23.6 ($30) billion in profit on $US89.6 ($115) billion in revenue for the quarter ending March 27, making the second fiscal quarter its strongest non-holiday quarter ever. iPad sales spiked 79% year over year. Mac sales were up 70%. iPhone sales jumped 65.5%. These are absolutely massive numbers, especially during an ongoing global pandemic that has contributed to supply chain constraints that have hurt other tech companies’ bottom lines, and I have to ask: Just how many Apple products did y’all buy????
“This quarter reflects both the enduring ways our products have helped our users meet this moment in their own lives, as well as the optimism consumers seem to feel about better days ahead for all of us,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in the company’s earnings statement. “Apple is in a period of sweeping innovation across our product lineup, and we’re keeping focus on how we can help our teams and the communities where we work emerge from this pandemic into a better world.”
There are a few factors that contributed to Apple’s blockbuster quarter, which significantly exceeded analyst estimates. (Apple itself hasn’t provided earnings guidance since the pandemic began, citing the uncertainty created by covid-19.) The iPad sales spike is particularly notable, but it makes sense: More people are working and learning and entertaining themselves at home than they were in the January-March quarter of 2020, and the iPad is a perfect device for video calls and Netflix binges.
Cook said the impressive Mac numbers were driven by the M1, Apple’s first in-house processor for Macs (which has since been brought to the iPad). The refreshed MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro are very impressive, so that too makes sense.
But folks, we are now 14 years into the iPhone, and in the first three months of 2021, Apple sold $US48 ($62) billion worth of iPhones. How? Why? Of course, the redesigned iPhone 12 lineup with 5G is compelling, particularly in countries where 5G networks are fully developed, and sales of the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max were particularly strong, Cook said on the company’s earnings call. But the fact that the iPhone, which is Apple’s revenue linchpin (accounting for more than half of the company’s sales), still sells like hotcakes is just plain wild.
While Apple’s fortunes have grown throughout the pandemic, it might surprise you to learn that not even Apple is immune from global conditions. The supply chain disruptions will affect iPad and Mac availability in the coming months, Cook said. The new M1 iPads and redesigned 24-inch M1 iMac will be released toward the end of May.